Why Keto May Not Be For You

Why Keto May Not Be For You

Here we are, with another popular diet generating a huge amount of buzz, promising things like sustained weight loss, increased energy, decreased inflammation, and more. When a fad diet surfaces I always err on the side of caution, especially when it seems like a magic pill that can take all of your worries away. In my experience, and over all of the years of research I have conducted, a balanced diet with real foods and ingredients always triumphs over a fad diet for long term sustainable weight loss and decreased inflammation. Now I know that keto may benefit some, just like paleo benefits some people. I encourage you to fully do your research before jumping into a diet like ketosis. Ketosis may have serious consequences on your metabolism, weight, and mood. Frankly, keto may not be good for you.

What is Ketosis?

I am going to steer clear of giving you a long, technical definition of ketosis. I do however think it’s worth learning the biochemistry if you plan to experiment. In that case, I highly recommend Dr Peter Attia’s posts or Dr Chris Masterjohn’s.

In short, ketosis is a state the body enters when there is an excess of molecules called acetyl groups over oxaloacetate. This happens when there is a shortage of glucose supplied to the metabolic processes that create energy, like when you eat a very low carbohydrate diet. Yet interestingly enough the body will also produce ketones when medium-chain fatty acids enter the metabolic processes.

So then, when there is this excess of acetyl groups relative to oxaloacetate, the body produces something called ketone bodies. Ketone bodies come from fatty acids that the body has liberated from fat tissue, which can be used as an alternative fuel to carbohydrates. This is important because the body (and specifically the brain and heart) literally need carbohydrates or ketone bodies in order to function. When carbs are gone, basically, ketone bodies step in to do their work.

People typically achieve ketosis by fasting or by eating diets very low in carbohydrate (high fat, moderate protein). This calls for at least fewer than 50, and maybe more like 20, grams of carbohydrate a day. This depends on your age, body type, activity level and the like.

You can verify how deeply your body has gone into ketosis by peeing on a stick, which reveals the level of ketone bodies being circulated in and used by your body.

Who Keto May Be Good For:

Those with Epilepsy disorder.

Those that struggle with seizures have been studied and proven to benefit from the keto diet. This is the only disorder that has been studied and proven to help with symptoms. No other conclusive research has been conducted on keto’s effects for any other condition (studies are happening, they are just in infancy). So tread lightly with all of the articles that tell you WHY keto is good for you, because a lot of this research has not been studied clinically.

When Keto May Not Be Good For You:

  • If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes: Keto can trigger a very dangerous condition in those that have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The body essentially starts to hoard ketones which can cause an acid overload, damaging the kidneys, liver and even brain. This condition can be fatal. 
  • You are looking to not regain weight back: The keto diet is generally known as not being easy to stick to long-term. It is in the same category as other fad diets; people will often use to loose a few pounds, and then quickly see the weight come back after stopping the diet. It is also known that most of the weight loss attributed to keto is from removal of access water, another common reason the weight resurfaces rapidly after stopping the diet.
  • You are not willing to eat lean meats and fats: There is a lot of red meat, butter, and foods generally high in saturated fat and that are common for those to eat on the keto diet. That is part of the allure right? What other “diet” allows you to eat cheese, eggs and bacon all the time? (Note to self, you can not be on a diet and eat this way 🙂 ). A lot of people forget to add in lean meat and healthy fat, resulting in adverse health affects.
  • You are trying to reproduce: Women of reproductive age who are attempting to conceive or are pregnant should probably not undergo low-carb ketosis, as carbohydrates play an important role in A) pregnancy, and B) assuring the hypothalamus that the body has been properly fed. In fact, insulin is actually an important satiation hormone. For women who want to conceive, it may be best to err on the side of caution and make sure you get bountiful carbs.
  • If you have a sensitive reproductive system:  If you have a history of low hormone levels, hypothalamic amenorrhea, dieting, or irregular menstrual cycles, the hormone changes involved in low carb ketosis as well as the uptick in stress hormone levels may hinder your reproductive hormone production.
  • If you have thyroid Issues: People (mostly women) with sensitive thyroid systems may also be in jeopardy from low carb ketosis. Ketosis is well known to down regulate thyroid production. T3 (the form of thyroid hormone that is actually active in cells) decreases, and reverse T3, a molecule that blocks the activity of T3, increases. Ketosis advocates may bend over backwards trying to make this phenomenon seem hunky dory, but I would advise anyone with thyroid issues to step carefully around ketosis. If you have clinical hypothyroidism I would consider consulting a doctor first.
  • If you are stressed out:  People with adrenal issues or a lot of stress are not great candidates for this diet. Adrenal glands may become more active with low carb ketosis, which can exacerbate  feelings of being wired, stress, and all the attending symptoms that come along with it.
  • If you are having trouble sleeping: Low carb ketosis may up-regulate the production of stress hormones, which can have a negative impact on sleep.
  • If you’re an athlete:  If you are trying to gain muscle mass or improve performance as an athlete, keto is not a great option. The bodies preferred fuel source is glucose or glycogen, not fat. So when we force the body to run on fat, whether adipose or dietary, we are inhibiting athletic performance because it is a slower and more energy consuming process to burn fat.
  • If you’re trying to maintain and moderate inflammation: Some of our cells lack mitochondria, meaning they are dependent on glucose from carbohydrates to survive. When in ketosis, we are basically starving these cells that can be found in our blood, retina, corneas, testis and renal medulla. These are not just aesthetic cells, we need our blood and eyes for instance, to be fully functioning.
  • You are not willing to commit to gradual transitions: When you transition off of keto, it has to be a gradual transition or you can damage your metabolism and most likely gain back any weight you have lost. It is not the best idea to jump right back in to processed refined carbohydrates, it is better to slowly introduce carbohydrates. You can start by adding a few carbohydrates to one meal a day, and slowly work up towards incorporating them into your diet.
  • If you struggle with restrictive eating: If you have a history of punishing yourself for falling off the wagon, feeling guilty about food, engaging in cycles of over- and under- eating, or confining yourself to strict dietary rules, I would not recommend ketosis. In order for someone to truly achieve wellness, then psychological health must be prioritized, perhaps above whatever ketosis-based goals you may have (and of course this varies by the individual. If you have brain cancer then please feel free to try ketosis regardless of how much you love your body).
  • If you seek any of these things:
    • Self love
    • Body acceptance
    • Overcoming an obsession with food
    • Overcoming cravings
    • Eating intuitively
    • Eating guilt-free
    • Keto is NOT diet freedom.

Then I would never recommend a set of diet rules – and again, especially one where you can’t eat for days or one where you have to pee on a stick —  to help you.

Side Effects of Keto

I completely understand wanting to try a particular type of eating to see if it may have any benefits for your metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being. I know that some of you are, or have, tried keto. One unfortunate side effect of keto, as with any diet where you are trying to manipulate your bodies biochemistry, is that there are going to be ways our body lets us know that change is occurring.

  • Keto Flu: There are no solid facts to what is causing keto flu, but it is speculated that keto flu is caused by changing the metabolism and experiencing sugar withdrawal. There are also speculations that the body is purging toxins from fat storage during the transition into a fat burning state. While purging the toxins the body may experience the following:
    • Fatigue
    • Cravings for carbs and sugar
    • Dehydration
    • Loss of appetite
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Heartburn or other symptoms of indigestion
    • Low motivation to exercise and poor recovery from workouts
    • Brain fog
    • Dizziness
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Moodiness or irritability

This is a huge less for little promised returns. Ask yourself, is it truly worth it to hop on a new diet bandwagon, and experience this obnoxiously long list of side effects?

Still Not Sure?

Robb Wolff provides this super handy quiz  that you can take to determine whether keto is a great option for you. I definitely recommend consulting with your primary care physician before making any transitions, even if the handy dandy quiz says keto may be for you. Check it out here: Quiz

I know my thoughts on the keto diet are controversial, but I am coming from a place of love and education, and hoping the best for you. I would never want you to embark on a diet journey that has negative long-term consequences for immediate returns. It does scare me that the long-term research is not available for the keto diet, meaning we really don’t know how it effects our metabolism and biochemistry, ultimately. I have heard that Arctic nations have actually developed a gene that blocks ketosis. Arctic indigenous people have a much different climate, diet and lifestyle than us, yes, but doesn’t it seem a little strange that a culture would develop a gene to block ketois, a state that so many people are trying to live in?

 

12 Essential Paleo Travel Tips

12 Essential Paleo Travel Tips

I am a tremendous advocate for the process of using traveling to new places as a way to grow and expand your knowledge. I have had the privilege to travel to many different countries, most currently my temporary home of Oxford. Traveling gives you the opportunity to expand your perspective beyond what is comfortable or the normal for your day-to-day mindset. This really is a tried and true theory, we can utilize watching TV or listening to podcasts or reading books as methods of traveling so to say, but they do not work as well as sinking your toes into a foreign land. If you have the opportunity and privilege to travel, I strongly encourage it.

After many years of traveling myself, I have developed a string of essentials I must take with me every time I travel. These are things that I bring that bring me comfort, convenience and capability wherever I go. I think we all have our own comfort and wellness rituals for traveling; I remember as a child that long road trips meant one of the only times I was able to have peanut m&ms’s and an extensive amount of coloring books and crayons. My traveling rituals also reminded me that we were about to embark on a new journey that would most likely leave me feeling educationally challenged, enlightened, or just closer to those around me.

As an adult my traveling rituals have definitely changed, although the concept still stays the same. Check out my favorite traveling essentials all located below!

1. Hand Lotion

A traveling must-have, my hands experience severe dryness in any sort of airplane cabin. When they get dry and crack, they tend to feel really stiff too, making me feel a bit immobile. That is one of the last things I would like to be feeling while traveling. I recently have been using this ultra hydrating moisturizer as my go-to.

2. Chapstick

In the similar mindset, my lips get terribly dry while traveling. I tend to travel to places where I can spend a decent amount of my time outdoors; a different environment and climate can quickly affect our sensitive lips. I tend to always have a few chapsticks rolling around, (does anyone actually ever finish a whole tube of chapstick?!) so I usually grab whatever’s closest. Recently it has been good old Carmex in a squeeze tube. Get it here.

3. Small Wallet

I try to condense all of my carry-on and luggage into the most minimal package I can possibly pull off. This can be tricky, but one of my easiest ways to accomplish this is by swapping my everyday wallet with a smaller, cash clip like wallet. I suppose I could just carry my small wallet around with me all the time, instead of having to switch when I travel, but I digress. Anyways, I never end up needing any of the random punch cards that I store in my large wallet so downsizing into a smaller one allows me to switch between purses or bags effortlessly, or allows me to not need to carry a purse altogether.

4. Thieves Oil

To be fair, I put this essential oil in my bottle of hand sanitizer, so it doesn’t smell like cheap alcohol. Thieves is known primarily for its antibacterial properties; it contains several other essential oils that harness these properties into one super oil blend. People use this oil in their cleaning products, to help stop smoking, on open wounds, and the list goes on. Mainly for me, it makes me feel like I am protecting my immune system just a tad more than the basic task of washing my hands. I definitely recommend getting it from someone who represents the Young Living Oil collection, quality is key here and I know Young Living has very strict standards when it comes to their oils.

5. Bleach Wipes

I feel a little silly, but mostly triumphant, when I whip these bad boys out on the airplane or in a hotel. I have, on multiple occasions, flipped down the tray table and there has been left over food on there! Visible leftover food! If you can see the food, imagine how many other things are lingering on those tray tables. Between that and the recycled air, bleach wipes are my must have. And, I am by no means a germaphobe, but planes are one area that is considered the dirtiest around.

6. Face Wipes

Face wipes are typically an essential based on convenience. I could bring my face wash in a tiny travel bottle, or I could bring easily accessible face wipes that can turn into body wash wipes when needed. If I don’t have time for a shower or to really thoroughly wash my face, these suffice and make me feel less grimy and traveled. I typically buy these cucumber face wipes, and I know Beautycounter has some excellent face wipes as well, which you can get here.

7. Moisturizer

So we basically know we need our entire skin regime packed in tiny travel form in order to keep sensitive skin happy while traveling, or at least I need to typically do this. I think my skin ends up being a happy little ecosystem when I maintain some semblance of consistency while traveling. That includes a lot of moisturizer. Especially since Noelle mentioned that oilier skin results in less wrinkles, you know I have been laying on the moisturizer thick. I typically bring one that has an SPF content for in the morning and throughout the day, and then one without SPF for at night. I have been using this kind at night, and this one in the morning.

8. Sunscreen

This is 100% always necessary people. You never want to end up being the one that gets the obnoxious sunburn on the first day of your trip, and then struggling to slather aloe vera on said burn while keeping up with all the fun activities. Do I sound experienced here? Trust me, I am! Please bring sunscreen, or buy some wherever you arrive. This little stick from Beautycounter is natural and can be carried in your carry-on.

9. Tea

The last time I traveled I had several tea bags in my purse, chamomile, mint, ginger and turmeric, and one white tea. Tea is a great staple to have in case you end up feeling a little under the weather, whether its upset stomach, or maybe a cold coming on. I love keeping the ginger,  turmeric and mint for tummy aches. You can typically find a free cup of hot water anywhere too, so if you aren’t able to find a good cup of coffee this can be a great free, easy alternative.

10. Bagged Tuna

I can never find anything beyond an epic bar at any airport or truck stop and sometimes you need more than a bar to get you through. I love bringing this stuff because you can always fly with it, it’s non-perishable, and it is really easy to eat. You don’t even need a fork to eat it with. I have successfully eaten a bag of tuna without a fork and only my mouth and a few crackers. There are a few really delicious flavors too. I bring a few bags of olives to toss in with the tuna when I need a fast impromptu but satisfying meal. This brand is really great too.

11. Bagged Olives

These babies go great with bagged tuna, surprise suprise!  Again, these nuggets of delicious fat are super easy to travel with, and mix well with other non-perishables like bagged tuna. Or if you grab a cucumber or some beef jerky, you can assemble your own little traveling charcuterie board.I usually grab the mini bags they have at Trader Joes.

12. Headphones

Do you travel without headphones? If you answered yes, please explain this to me! I have friends and family that do this but I truly cannot understand why you would ever want to put yourself through this. Headphones are the perfect access to the introvert portal whenever you need it but cannot find the space or place to be alone or introvert out. They also make any traveling in a plane, train, or whatever the means, pass by a little faster. Being crammed into a plane with a ton of people I do not know is my least favorite thing to do, so being able tto escape to a movie or podcast is how I survive these travels.These ones are a little bulky but are noise canceling. Get them here.

Now that you have my fantastic list of travel essentials, I wanna know what travel plans you have built up. Do you travel often? Or does your family embark on vacations each year? If money and time was not a factor, where would you travel if you had the opportunity?

 

How to Stay Fit Indoors This Winter

How to Stay Fit Indoors This Winter

As the weather gets colder and preps us for the holiday season, it becomes easier and easier to stay indoors. In my home state of Michigan, we typically get brutally cold winters accompanied with ice and snow, which I definitely avoided as much as possible when I could. I love exercising outside so much, and not being able to partake in the same activities in the winter month really messes with me. I have a sneaking suspicion this could contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder too. So what are the best winter fitness tips to keep us happy and fit through the colder months?

This year I am going to try hard to continue to move my body in ways I don’t hate (read: hours on end on the treadmill or elliptical). I have made it my mission to try different interesting new exercise classes to see if I find anything I like. For instance, did you know that dancing classes are offered year round? Check out my whole bucket list of interesting indoor activities for staying fit this winter, below!

1) Acro Yoga

I have been told this is a combination of Pilates, acrobatics, dancing, and yoga. If anything, I know it makes a great Instagram photo opportunity from what I have seen. To be honest, I love dancing and the feeling of being weightless and the movement surrounding that, which is why I wanted to try this. A lot of the moves are partner based, resulting in a great way to get your social interaction and indoor exercise all in one.

2) Rock Climbing

I was always a tree climber as a kid, and I wish this transitioned more easily as an adult. The idea of taking on a rock climbing gym is slightly intimidating, it has a CrossFit clique aura around it. Not to mention the equipment, where do I even start? However, my love of climbing and primal desire to get back into this sport are stronger than my fear of rock climbing gym hipsters. I will conquer my fear!

3) Tai Chi 

This long-standing tradition of slow and controlled movements has roots that extend back centuries. I have seen a lot of almost miraculous injuries healed from the power of Tai Chi, and I know this practice is used commonly amongst those that struggle with chronic pain or depression and anxiety. The slow pace does intimidate me, but the patience and strength required for this practice is something I want to learn.

4) Naked Yoga 

Yep, I went there. This practice is something where you need to find a legitimate and qualified studio to practice. It’s probably like a nude beach when you first try it, the awkwardness and trying not to look at everyone. I really would like to become in tune with my body and practice only in this form. I am also hoping the movements won’t be too strenuous, because sometimes sports bras are necessary.

5) Forza

Looking for a combination of self-defense and a workout in one class? Look no further than forza. In this exercise class you use an imitation samurai sword to imitate movements used by traditional samurais. I want to take this class because not only does it sound badass, but you know wielding a large sword like a samurai takes patience, skill and finesse. Definitely looking forward to this class!

6) Silk Yoga

With silk yoga, think of the acrobatic goddesses in cirque de olel that manage to dance in an ethereal manner with only hanging pieces of silk strands. The relationship between the person and the silk is whimsical to watch. I can only imagine how much body strength it takes to lift and lower your body into positions like that. It seems like it would take the same strength as rope climbing, yoga, and pole dancing all in one. Which brings me to my next class…

7) Pole or Burlesque Dancing

These classes were made popular a few years back. A lot of people thought these classes were controversially and objective to women, but the more I learn about them the more empowering they seem to women. This is one of those classes that allows you to bridge the brain body barrier and become in touch with your strength and your sensuality all at once. From those I know who have taken these classes, they see an immediate surge in self-confidence by partaking. These are a beautiful way to become in-touch with your feminine energy.

So these are the most appealing classes to me, what about you? Do any of these strike your fancy? Do you have any interesting classes near you that you are thinking about taking? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Or, if the idea of taking one of these strange classes seems intimidating, you can always start with my program, Weight Loss Unlocked.

In this program I give several recommendations on exercise quantities and types based on the results you are looking to achieve. Definitely start here if you are looking for a way to start incorporating exercise into your life!

 

Guilt Free Autumn Treats

Guilt Free Autumn Treats

Are you sick of pumpkin spiced everything yet? This blend of spices tastes great on a lot of things I eat including in cinnamon tea, in oatmeal, in yogurt, the options are ENDLESS Y’ALL. And it is the perfect essential in any paleo autumn treat. That does not mean I am 100% on team pumpkin spice, and definitely not a fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes (or Lattes in general), I just have an appreciative taste for cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

But – if you are unlike me and aren’t necessarily a fan of pumpkin spiced things, I wanted to share a few of my overall autumn and winter seasonal snacks. A lot of these things still contain pumpkin based ingredients, but not all are strictly pumpkin based.

Either way, there are a lot of seasonal snacks and treats that disappear come January, so you can bet I am stocking up now for when I am sick of summer and heat next year (lol).

Also, not all of these items are strictly paleo. Most of them are gluten free & dairy free though. Just a friendly tidbit – all snacks are guilt free because food is neither good nor bad, right or wrong. < 3 

Bars

Nutty Pumpkin Bread – This nutty pumpkin bread is like a combination of a pumpkin muffin and a pumpkin granola bar all in one. It has a similar texture to Larabars. The Nutty Pumpkin Bread Bar is made with cashews, pecans and pumpkin spice.



Pumpkin Spice Protein Bar – We all are familiar with RX bars, they are great easy options especially when traveling. They have two great seasonal flavors, pumpkin spice, and apple cinnamon. If you have not had an RX bar, it is important to note the texture resembles that of almost a laffy taffy, so be careful with those fillings and crowns! Get the no B.S. treat here.

Nut Butters

Pumpkin Seed Butter – Okay so not only is this pumpkin seed butter (YUM) but it is sprouted pumpkin seed butter. The only ingredient in this delicious butter is just pumpkin seeds. This butter is great for those that do not like sweeter nut butters; pumpkin butter has much more of a savory taste. 

Tiger Nut Butter – If Tiger Nuts are more your thing, than this is the nut butter for you. The team over at Toots blended honey and cinnamon into this delicious spread, making it the perfect companion for your oatmeal, smoothies, or accompanying a delicious apple. Get the delicious Tiger Nut Butter here

Granola

Apple Cinnamon Granola – Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free and Non-GMO, this granola is a great alternative to gluten-filled granola. It is a hearty and delicious blend of organic nuts, fruits, seeds, and spices. This granola is insanely delicious with the new GT’s living coconut yogurt, or my favorite, mixed with other trail mix staples for a sufficient snack. 

Chewy Pumpkin Granola – Another splendid granola, this one is definitely more pumpkin-y. The ingredients contain a blend of nuts like almonds and walnuts, along with honey, coconut, and vanilla. I know this may be overdoing it with the pumpkin, but this crunchy granola is splendid on top of a fluffy gluten free pumpkin pancake. 

Bonus Treats

Apple Cinnamon Plantains – With three ingredients, these make the perfect easy snack for when you don’t feel like pulling anything together. Plantains definitely lean on the side of sweet to me, so the addition of cinnamon is an easy transition. Get these tasty treats here.

Coconut Cinnamon Wraps – Looking for the ultimate tortilla to wrap your pumpkin seed butter in? This is it! These coconut wraps only have four ingredients, and are versatile for any delicious autumn spiced snack. These are great with apples and nut butter, or bananas and nut butter! Snatch them up here

 

Power Loaded Cinnamon Creamer – This creamer has all the coffee essentials loaded into one bottle. It is made with 100% grass fed ghee, organic coconut based MCT and cinnamon. If you are looking for an easy way to spice up your coffee, this is it. This creamer does contain sunflower lecithin though, so if you are sensitive to lecithin be wary.

So there you have it! Stock up those pantries with these seasonal items while you can. AND definitely let me know – are you Team Pumpkin Spice or Team No Pumpkin Spice?

<3

The Truth About Maca Root

The Truth About Maca Root

We have talked about adaptogens on the blog, and the benefits they can have on regulating our hormones, nervous systems, and adrenal functions – amongst other things. (If you aren’t sure what an adaptogen is, check out this post. ) Maca is one such adaptogen that has been touted as a superfood. I wanted to get to the bottom of this buzzword “superfood” and see if Maca really has standing power in the world of verified and beneficial adaptogens.

I have seen several people in the paleo community rave about Maca, but what is it really? How is it used? Does it taste earthy like a lot of adaptogens? Well loves, I did the lifting for you and have unearthed the truth regarding Maca.

What is it?

Maca Root is found in the Andes region of Peru; a common staple in Peruvian cooking. The Maca Root is amongst the same family of foods as kale, broccoli, and cabbage. Maca was used as currency and in trade for the Peruvians, and it is even believed the Incans may have used the root as a delicacy within the royal families.

A very interesting point to consider, Maca Root is used often when there is a disruption in the endocrine system or in the sex hormone systems of the body, or to increase overall sexual health and libido. It is important to note that Maca is not creating a libido for you (curious how to improve your overall libido? Check out this post). Maca is essentially allowing your body to move through stressful periods or less stressful periods as a way to ease the nervous system. It is actually working towards eliminating the stress that may be causing the libido system to be hindered.

What is it used for?

  • Reducing Menopause Side Effects – Maca has been studied in trials regarding menopausal systems, with positive results. Overall, the women that were tested saw significant decrease in night flushes, nervousness, mood swings, fatigue, stress and depression, to name a few. These women also experienced higher energy and mood levels overall. It should be noted this study was conducted on a small handful of women.
  • Overall Anti-Inflammatory Effects – Phytonutrients are found in Maca Root. Phytonutrients contain large quantities of anti-inflammatory properties and are thought to boost the immune system. Maca root also contains a decent amount of vitamins and minerals including the following: 
    • Vitamin C
    • Copper
    • Iron
    • Potassium
    • Vitamin B6
    • Manganese
    • Vitamin B12
    • Niacin
  • Fertility – There is a lot of speculation revolving around Maca’s true potential to support fertility and libido health. Mainly, most of these studies have been conducted on men, so the effects it may have on women are still unsure.
  • Improving Learning and Memory – Those that supplement with Maca Root Powder have seen improved energy levels which may be associated with cognitive benefits (key word here is may). Increased energy levels are correlated to improved mood and also improved learning and memory skills. This is kind of a give-in, when you feel like you have the energy to conquer a task it can be a confidence and mood booster, especially if you struggle with fatigue.
  • Improving Mood- Maca supports the HPA axis helping the body support its own production of hormones. This can help create a support system for your cardiovascular, respiratory, lymphatic and nervous systems. Instead of hitting a hard collapse or flight mode, your body is supported and the impact is less intense on the body, resulting in less inflammation and overall stress. There have been clinical studies showing a reduction in depression levels for those that take Maca, along with a reduction in blood pressure levels.

How do people use it?

Maca definitely has a very distinct taste. I have heard it be referred to as a malt-y taste, and the smell is definitely reminiscent of that. I have friends that add it to their morning coffee swearing it turns it into a milk-shake like taste. With most adaptogens, it depends on your biochemistry on whether or not you will be a fan of this creamy earthy adaptogen. If the taste is overwhelming, mix it with something that has a stronger taste base, like a peanut or almond butter smoothie. I have seen recipes containing Maca that vary from bars to smoothies to cookies or other treats.

Warnings:

Maca root has not been associated with an any ill advised side effects. Its apparent effect on the endocrine system though should be considered with caution, especially if you are in treatment for any types of cancer or hormone therapy. Definitely consult with your doctor before starting any adaptogens to make sure they are right for you.

I do not typically use adaptogens as I have had negative side effects and reactions to each adaptogen I do try. I hope to get to a point in the future where I am able to try out some of the milder adaptogens, but in the mean time I stay clear. Please let me know if you are trying these and what effects and reactions you have!


Favorite Brands & Recipes

I have three fantastic recipes that are easy and delicious below. Most of the recipes that Maca Root is found in are typically on the sweeter side as the malty notes in it play off of sweeteners very well. If you are looking for a particular Maca Root Powder to use, this one is a well-rated great option (will insert aff link).

Hormone Balancing Smoothie From Grass-Fed Girl

Maca Root 101

Chocolate Maca Tahini Brownies

maca root 101

Happy Hormones Hot Chocolate

Maca Root 101

So the long story short, Maca has a lot of mixed results. Some people swear by it, some people point to flawed studies on small demographics. I think the history and prevalence of Maca points to a lot of good theories, I am just not sure the science is fully there to support every claim at this point. I am curious though, have you tried Maca? If so, have you had any noticeable effects?

<3

 

Does Your Skin Need A Pick Me Up?

Does Your Skin Need A Pick Me Up?

I have been using Annmarie Natural Cosmetic products for a few years now. They are a fantastic company focused on making beauty products that are natural & organic.They do this really well, along with cultivating an experience for their customers by packaging their products in well-thought out and beautiful gift sets.

Their organic, wild-crafted herbs and ingredients, infused and extracted at low temperature, are of the highest quality. The main reason I love this company so much is that they offer travel size products and a money back guarantee, so you are not making a long term commitment if you purchase their products and they don’t work for you.

All of us have varying skin types. I 100% believe the only way to find the best product for our skin is by trying it out.

Annmarie Skin Care is having a special promo right now where you can try out three of their best products for a super low price. Their 3-step Restore Trial Kit restores skin back to life using the best ingredients from nature.

This kit contains an aloe vera based cream cleanser, soothing toning mist, and herb-infused facial moisturizer, guaranteed to deliver beautiful, glowing skin or your money back.

The Skin Restore Kit Contains:

  • Aloe-Herb Cleanser: Because this aloe-based cleanser removes impurities without stripping away your skin’s natural oils, you will feel like your skin is breathing for the first time. You’ll notice visible results that compound over time versus a quick fix that strips your skin. 
  • Neroli Toning Mist: Positively intoxicating, instantly revitalizing, this is the perfect product to keep in your purse for those moments when you need to freshen up. I can’t think of a better way to hydrate and soften your skin. A quick spritz and you’ll be in an orange-blossom aroma oasis, in the middle of a busy day. This product is comparative to the Beautycounter Rose Facial spray, but I think it smells so much better. I am slightly obsessed with neroli. Neroli is a very loud scent though, so if you are sensitive to these kinds of things know that it may be slightly intense.
  • Anti-Aging Oil: A few drops of this herb-infused formula delivers a concentrated dose of moisture for those autumn and winter months when dry air and indoor heating make it difficult to feel beautiful, and for dry and mature skin year round. The fragrance on this reminds me a lot of vetiver, another essential oil. I love this product, it does give me a little redness at first around my eyes but overall my experience has been positive with this anti-aging oil.

If you are looking for new items to include in your regime, I definitely recommend giving these a shot. Get the trial kit for $9.99 ( I definitely did a double take when I saw the price ).

Click here to get it! This deal ends midnight on October 12th.

I wish fabulous, clear & nourished skin to you! <3